Kugler confirmed as first Hispanic-American on U.S. Fed board
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Kugler confirmed as first Hispanic-American on U.S. Fed board

President Joe Biden tapped Kugler, a former World Bank executive director, to fill the vacancy on the Fed’s board of governors left by former Vice Chair Lael Brainard in February to lead the National Economic Council.

Kugler’s appointment completes the Fed’s board, following the confirmations Wednesday of Philip Jefferson to the vacant post of second-in-command at the U.S. central bank and Lisa Cook to a full 14-year term as governor.

“I congratulate the Senate for confirming my extremely qualified nominees to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve on a bipartisan basis,” Biden said in a statement.

“With the confirmation of these exceptional economists to the Federal Reserve, the American people can be confident that the Fed’s important mission remains in good hands and that it will continue to work for them, not for a partisan agenda,” he added.

As a member of the Fed’s board, Kugler will have a permanent vote in meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets rates, and in other central bank management activities.

As a result, analysts and traders will be closely analyzing Kugler’s upcoming comments for signs of how she is likely to vote at the meetings, which set the course for U.S. monetary policy.

“Dr. Kugler’s confirmation would finally give the more than 62 million Latinos who live in this country a seat at the table where the most important monetary policy decisions are made,” Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement before the vote.

The FOMC has voted 11 times to raise interest rates in the past 18 months, taking its benchmark rate to its highest level in more than 20 years to combat runaway inflation.

Although inflation remains above the Fed’s long-run target of 2%, analysts and traders broadly expect the FOMC to hold rates steady at its next meeting on September 19-20 to give policymakers more time to assess the health of the world’s largest economy.

“We congratulate Dr. Philip Jefferson on his confirmation as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Dr. Lisa Cook on her confirmation to a full term, and Dr. Adriana Kugler on her confirmation to join the Board,” American Bankers Association President Rob Nichols said in a statement.

“Each of these appointments is historic in its own right, and all three bring diverse perspectives to the Fed’s critically important work,” he added.

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